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The Klingon Hamlet [Paperback]

William Shakespeare , Nick Nicholas , Andrew Strader , Klingon Language Institute
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Book Description

February 1, 2000 0671035789 978-0671035785 First Edition (1 in number line)
For too long, readers throughout the Federation have been exposed to The Tragedy of Khamlet, Son of the Emperor of Qo'nos, that classic work of Klingon™ literature, only through inadequate and misleading English translations. Now at last, thanks to the tireless efforts of the Klingon Language Institute, this powerful drama by the legendary Klingon playwright, Wil'yam Shex'pir, can be appreciated in the elegance and glory of its original tongue.
This invaluable volume contains the complete text of the play, along with an English translation for easy consultation and comparison. In addition, an incisive introduction explains the play's crucial importance in Klingon culture, while copious notes illustrate how the debased English version diverges from the original, often distorting and even reversing the actual meaning of the verses.
Khamlet, the Restored Klingon Version, is a work that belongs in the library of every human who hopes truly to understand what it means to be Klingon.

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The Klingon Hamlet + The Klingon Dictionary (Star Trek) + Klingon for the Galactic Traveler (Star Trek)
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Editorial Reviews Review

Prepared by the Klingon Language Institute, The Klingon Hamlet presents full English and Klingon versions of Shakespeare's play side by side. Only experienced Klingon speakers will be able to fully appreciate the nuances of the Klingon-language version, but for anyone who has dabbled in the language, this is an excellent opportunity to acquire large chunks of authentic text to practice on. Most of the vocabulary used can be found in either The Klingon Dictionary or Klingon for the Galactic Traveler.

For non-Klingon speakers, there is Shakespeare's original text, an English-language introduction, and detailed endnotes, very wittily presented. These put forward the case that Shakespeare himself was a Klingon, and underline the essentially Klingon nature of this famous play, with its themes of honor and revenge. In creating the tragic figure of Hamlet, with his very un-Klingon propensity for brooding and procrastination, Shakespeare is believed to have been commenting on a culture becoming alienated from its traditional warlike virtues, and we are told that most Klingons find it a deeply disturbing play.

All in all, this is a very clever, well-presented interpretation of one of the world's most famous plays. The Klingon translation, in all the glory of its iambic pentameter, has been lovingly constructed, and is well worth the effort of reading at least a few favorite passages aloud. --Elizabeth Sourbut,

Language Notes

Text: English

Product Details

  • Series: Star Trek
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books/Star Trek; First Edition (1 in number line) edition (February 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671035789
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671035785
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #598,194 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in April 1564, and his birth is traditionally celebrated on April 23. The facts of his life, known from surviving documents, are sparse. He was one of eight children born to John Shakespeare, a merchant of some standing in his community. William probably went to the King's New School in Stratford, but he had no university education. In November 1582, at the age of eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway, eight years his senior, who was pregnant with their first child, Susanna. She was born on May 26, 1583. Twins, a boy, Hamnet ( who would die at age eleven), and a girl, Judith, were born in 1585. By 1592 Shakespeare had gone to London working as an actor and already known as a playwright. A rival dramatist, Robert Greene, referred to him as "an upstart crow, beautified with our feathers." Shakespeare became a principal shareholder and playwright of the successful acting troupe, the Lord Chamberlain's Men (later under James I, called the King's Men). In 1599 the Lord Chamberlain's Men built and occupied the Globe Theater in Southwark near the Thames River. Here many of Shakespeare's plays were performed by the most famous actors of his time, including Richard Burbage, Will Kempe, and Robert Armin. In addition to his 37 plays, Shakespeare had a hand in others, including Sir Thomas More and The Two Noble Kinsmen, and he wrote poems, including Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece. His 154 sonnets were published, probably without his authorization, in 1609. In 1611 or 1612 he gave up his lodgings in London and devoted more and more time to retirement in Stratford, though he continued writing such plays as The Tempest and Henry VII until about 1613. He died on April 23 1616, and was buried in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford. No collected edition of his plays was published during his life-time, but in 1623 two members of his acting company, John Heminges and Henry Condell, put together the great collection now called the First Folio.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect in its own way, and thought-provoking October 4, 2003
What a mad, hilarious enterprise this is. If anyone thinks this is merely a discharge of nerdishness, let them try and translate a whole Shakespeare play in ANY language - let alone one in which expressions and ways of thought have to be invented along with metre and rhyme. And as a matter of fact, this is not merely a well-made piece of whimsy: the emphasis of its "critical" parts on the warrior identity of "Khamlet" and the meaning of his sense of disgrace provide a useful, thought-provoking contrast to much of the "terran" critical tradition, which tends to neglect that Hamlet is a prince, a swordsman, a potential military leader, and that the warrior Fortinbras thought that "He was likely, had he been put on/ To have proved most royal".
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last, the original Hamlet! March 19, 2000
Finally, the general public can read Shakespeare as he should be read--in the warrior's tongue. This book, formerly only available to humans in a small run in hardback, is now out in paperback, far more accessible to students of Klingon culture. Hamlet is an insightful tale of an earlier time and a royal house fallen into such indecision and intrigue that even revenge is hesitant--a truly disturbing work.
To step back from the conceit of Wil'yam Shax'pir as Klingon dramatist and keen observer of the Klingon culture, the study and development of tlhInganHol is an amazing work, at least equaling Tolkien's linguistic inventions, and the translation of Hamlet is a true labor of lo--er, honor. I would buy a video/DVD of a performance of Hamlet in Klingon (with English subtitles) in a heartbeat, and I hope that otther works of Shakespeare are "restored."
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Conversation Piece for Literature Class March 29, 2011
By darmok
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
When we were told we could bring any old copy of Hamlet in for our dramaturgy class, I took the assignment literally. Needless to say, bringing Khamlet to class made for plenty of textual analysis to go 'round, not just about Hamlet, but about how Hamlet has been produced, performed and interpreted throughout the ages. You'll definately want to work on your pronounciation before showing it off, however, as you'll be asked to read Khamlet's soliloquy aloud in the original tlhIngan Hol. Also, Khamlet brings out the best in people: I discovered that two of my classmates and the professor were Trek-fans! The only thing preventing this from being five stars is that the book doesn't annotate either copy of the play as student copies do. That might not be a big deal for most people, but when I'm reading classic literature, I like having notes to explain some of the more esoteric references and changed meanings.
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read October 2, 2004
By Josh
For all those wondering whether this is worth the read, let me say the Kang was right when he said you can't appreciate hamlet unless you've read it in Klingon. Ejoy!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is this what they are reading in Qo'noS now-a-days? March 3, 2012
I entirely agree with Chancellor Gorkon that you have not experienced Shakespeare until you have read him in the original Klingon.

jIl moH ghajjaj jaghHomlIj.

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5.0 out of 5 stars A Gift for the Language Professor June 21, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The title explains my connection to the work and all things Trek.

I once observed of myself that if I spent as much time on learning a foreign language as I did with shooting a b-b gun I'd have conversational mastery of Italian and Spanish. I didn't and don't.

I have observed similar obsessions and probable consequences regarding skateboarders, who mainly seem to fall and get up a whole lot, who might otherwise master who knows what.

About the foregoing people (here I do not count myself) and about the folks who wrote this book, I can only express admiration. Their obsession, focus of effort, and labor of love is impressive.

This and all and more are worthy.

Worthwhile book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Nice novelty item May 6, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I bought one of the first on sale at the Flamingo in Vegas and when I saw this as an eBook I had to have it!!!! It is the actual Hamlet by shakespeare but with Klingon translation. ;)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Yeah March 14, 2014
By T.J.
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you are interested then buy it. Definitely makes a cute gift for a trekky. Interesting read if your into klingon.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Who knew?
Shakespeare had a Klingon heart. The original Klingon version is much more honorable. Read and ye shall see what I mean.
Published 7 months ago by Nakiah Burnes
5.0 out of 5 stars You must read this book
I'm a big-time Trekkie and I love to read anything and everything I can about Star Trek. It's hard to find a lot of reading material of the local bookstores and the prices are very... Read more
Published 16 months ago by F. Buntin
5.0 out of 5 stars The Klingon Hamlet
The Klingon Hamlet is a good book to add to your collection especially for all Star Trek fans.
Published on August 18, 2010 by Goddess Anjanee
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-buy item
This book is amazing in every imaginable way. Unfortunately, I do not know Klingon and thus cannot read that translation but even the introduction (written in English) is very... Read more
Published on June 9, 2010 by Jonathan Pevarnek
3.0 out of 5 stars eh...
not as interesting as it could have been. the ferengi bible is a better choice
Published on April 27, 2009 by Greg Zenon
5.0 out of 5 stars Imperdible en la biblioteca Star Trek
Un libro tan clásico como este imposible. Además en Klingonés. ¿Aun no lo tienes?
Published on January 3, 2007 by German Mollo Aguila
1.0 out of 5 stars Didn't like it.
I'd like to think that I am a Star Trek and Klingon fan, but this work was horrible. I don't believe the author knows anything about Klingons and it seems that his writing smacks... Read more
Published on July 28, 2004 by Easy E
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Hamlet by William Shakespeare
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